This is an exclusive rant for rockstargary.com. While I share my reflections on 80s supershows on Scott Keith’s blog, I wanted to continue recapping the Monday Night War for my readers. I hope you enjoy this exclusive presentation:
Taped from Cincinnati, OH
Airdate: March 4, 1996 (taped 2/19)
Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler
Match 1: The 1-2-3 Kid (w/ Ted DiBiase) versus the “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels
Lawler mentioned the upset tag that was bestowed upon the 1-2-3 Kid for this match.
Before the match began, Michaels backdropped the Kid over the top rope to the floor.
Standing leg lariat by the Kid knocked Michaels down.
Military press slam by Michaels preceded a clothesline sending the Kid back to the floor.
Bret was watching backstage on a monitor and assessed the match while talking with Vince.
Powerslam by Michaels got 2.
Spinning heel kick by the Kid followed by a dropkick sent Michaels to the floor.
Impressive springboard body press from the ring to the floor by the Kid.
Behind referee Earl Hebner’s back, DiBiase nailed Michaels on the floor then put the Gucci shoes to him.
Series of kicks including one to the head by the Kid stunned Michaels.
After a cross-corner whip, the Kid delivered a dropkick and got 2.
After a commercial break, the Kid delivered a leg drop.
Kick to the head by the Kid got another 2 count.
Flying clothesline by Michaels put both men down on the mat.
Michaels then kipped up.
After receiving a cross-corner whip, Michaels climbed to the top turnbuckle and hit a moonsault.
A flying forearm by Michaels had the #1 contender fired up.
After a slam, Michaels mounted the top turnbuckle and hit the flying elbow drop.
Rather than getting nailed by Sweet Chin Music, the Kid escaped to the floor.
The Kid slammed Michaels, mounted the top turnbuckle, but missed the guillotine leg drop.
Sweet Chin Music gave Michaels the pin.
Summary: Excellent showcase match for Michaels as his Clique buddy hung with him quite well.
After the match, Michaels dances with a kid in the ring.
Shattered Dreams presents a film by Marlena: “Piper’s Pit” featuring Goldust. Extremely suggestive and provocative words describe Goldust’s lust for Piper. I’ll give him credit for his use of double entendre. To finish the segment, Goldust flubs playing the bagpipes.
A WrestleMania retrospective features the Ultimate Warrior. At WrestleMania XII the Ultimate Warrior will return to the WWF.
Prior to the next match, Piper is on the phone.
Next week on RAW the Undertaker and Yokozuna team up to face the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith and Owen Hart.
Match 2: Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw (w/ Zebekiah) versus Hakushi
Before he was a color commentator on RAW…before he was a Texas billionaire World champion…Bradshaw was a long-haired Texan will a bull rope. Can you guess how much heat he had?
Meanwhile Piper was still on the phone. I hope he used 1-800-COLLECT.
Dropkick by Hakushi did not take Bradshaw off his feet.
After Bradshaw missed a big boot, Hakushi attempted a second dropkick which again did not faze the big Texan.
Pumphandle slam by Bradshaw kept him in control.
A leg drop followed by an elbow drop kept the crowd comatose.
Spinning thrust kick and a handspring elbow turned the tide for Hakushi.
However, a big boot sent Hakushi through the ropes to the floor.
After they trade places Hakushi hit a plancha.
Bradshaw then rammed Hakushi’s back into the apron twice before slamming him on the floor.
Big boot and the wicked lariat got the pin for Bradshaw.
Summary: While Bradshaw’s high-impact style was on display, nobody was buying his Stan Hansen imitation.
After the match, Bradshaw hogties Hakushi, then Zebekiah brands him with a branding iron. This was the last appearance of Hakushi in the WWF.
Mankind vignette. The passion of Mick Foley is in full form here.
Prior to the next match, Dok Hendrix shills merchandise from the WWF Store. Get your WrestleMania XII chair for only $79.95.
RAW is sponsored by Castrol: Synthetic Blend, the US Army, and Burger King much to Lawler’s dismay.
During a commercial break, Pettengill shilled the WWF Tour schedule:
Tuesday 3/5 in Austin, TX.
Wednesday 3/6 in Beaumont.
Thursday 3/7 in Tyler.
Friday 3/8 in Houston.
Sunday 3/10 in Corpus Christi.
Match 3 (non-title): WWF Champion Bret “Hitman” Hart versus Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/ Emerald Hart)
Lawler suggested that Bret was related to Emerald Hart. To quote the befallen WWF President Gorilla Monsoon…”Highly unlikely.”
After delivered a knee to the charging Helmsley, Bret mounted the second turnbuckle and delivered a clothesline.
As Bret worked on Helmsley’s arm, Michaels made his way to the ring.
Michaels took a seat at ringside to watch this match.
Flying body press by Bret got 2. Interestingly the kick-out sent him to the floor right beside Michaels.
Bret took exception to Michaels at ringside. Helmsley, in an attempt to blindside Hart, leaped from the apron. Bret, however, caught him in the midsection.
Bret then made Helmsley taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Steak Collinsworth at the Precinct.
High knee by Helmsley put him back in control.
After a pair of cross-corner whips, Helmsley bowed. Sigh.
Snap suplex and a knee drop got 2 for Helmsley.
After a second commercial break, Helmsley mounted the second turnbuckle but ate boot on the way down.
An inverted atomic drop was followed by a clothesline by Bret.
Bulldog, backbreaker, and a second rope elbow got 2 for Bret.
Rollup by Helmsley got 2. The kick-out sent him to the floor.
Helmsley mounted the second turnbuckle, but Bret caught his legs.
Bret then applied the Sharpshooter for the submission.
Summary: Competitive match for the champion here. In spite of his mid-match bow Helmsley didn’t look bad.
After the match Michaels applauds the “Hitman” on his victory.
Prior to the Billionaire Ted skit, the following message was shown:
“The following satire is intended to entertain and inform. The quotes contained herein are actual quotes by the man who could control 50% of America’s cable systems, Ted Turner.”
Tee-Vee Trivia with Billionaire Ted and Candy: The category is pompous quotes. Billionaire Ted answers the question wrong, but Candy appreciates the effort. The next question concerns race and casts Turner in some bad light. Another quote is terribly misogynistic. While the Nacho Man is in the studio, the Huckster is still handcuffed to the top turnbuckle. HA! As a result of being a sore loser, Billionaire Ted pulled the plug on the segment to end the show. Methinks Turner didn’t find this particular segment funny.
Conclusion: In spite of the corny and unnecessary Billionaire Ted skit, this episode was a tremendous improvement over last week’s show. Why can’t they do this when Nitro opposes them? I guess we’ll see next week.